NEW YORK: In what appears to be an obvious case of hate crime, an elderly Sikh man of Fresno in California was beaten with a steel rod by an unidentified young man on Sunday.
According to reports, 82-year-old Piara Singh was walking back to his home from the nearby Gurdwara Nanaksar in Fresno on Sunday morning when he was attacked by a youth – who is reportedly in his late 20s or early 30s – with a steel rod.
The youth, who was riding a bicycle, hit him on the head and the chest and other parts.
Piara Singh was admitted to hospital where he was said to be critical after sustaining serious injuries, including broken bones and ribs. One of his lungs also collapsed during the attack.
Fresno in the Central Valley of California is home to a large Sikh population, and Gurdwara Nanaksar is located on Cherry Road.
Police said they were treating the incident as a potential racially motivated crime. The FBI has joined in the investigations with the local Fresno Police Department. Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer met the Sikh community on Tuesday to assure them of protection.
The racial attack on Sikh man is not the first as there have been previous incidents of targeting the Sikhs in the Central Valley after the attacks of 9/11.
The victim in this case used to come for volunteer work at the Sikh temple.